PD: Jacque, Kay and myself in Arizona for one of our girls trips to visit Jacque and get some sunshine and connection.
Last night I received a phone call. It was from Kay. We have been friends since our late 20's/early 30's. We connected because we were both losing our eyesight from an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. We were both serving as leaders in our state RP Foundation Chapters as well as Jacque. We were all involved in leadership training, building our chapters and became good friends. Kay and I both are Clinical Mental Health Counselors. She was the one who paved the way for me to become an EMDR Therapist as well. Time would go by and we seemed to just pick up where we left off.
A few years back we planned a girls trip to Arizona to visit Jacque and enjoy some sunshine. It was wonderful to connect with these lovely ladies. Sitting outside by her pool soaking in the sunshine and sharing our journeys of vision loss and the new discoveries in tools that were helpful. Last year we couldn't meet up yet the plan was to resume this year.
Whether it was going to get pedicures, visiting Jerome, enjoying the Chihuly's at the Park and each of us sharing what we could 'see', we had fun and shared love and support for one another.
So, when she left a message last night it felt different. Yes, it was the time of year to reconnect and talk about planning our upcoming trip for sunshine. Yet, there was simply the message of Becky we need to talk. She had been trying to reach me for a few weeks. We've been travelling -- in Jordan/Israel for two weeks then back home and to Portland. Its been a busy month so understandably I've been hard to reach.
I quickly called her back. She told me she was dying and on Hospice. I was speechless as I reflected on this most likely being my last conversation with her. I thought of getting on a plane to visit .. yet knew that probably wasn't even an option at this point. We talked for 10 minutes until it was too difficult for her to talk anymore. I was so grateful that she had made the effort to connect so we could have this last conversation. I love you so much, Kay Thank you for being an amazing example and friend. We've shared so much together. I love that you felt I would look great in a hat and insisted on buying me one. I tried :).
My heart is full of gratitude and love for you Kay. I will miss you and am so grateful for the example you set of tenacity, love, forever friend, optimism and spiritual strength.
I am going to miss no more chats about therapy tools, how we navigate the DSM-5, sitting by the pool chatting about neuroplasticity and mostly your friendship and love. As you said last night, that's not going anywhere. Your love, friendship and example will be in my heart forever.
Love and prayers to you in this final stage of a beautiful life.
Update: Kay died the next day. I am so grateful she called and we had the opportunity to visit. Love you Kay.